“…the remains from the process of mining memories…”

—Ellyn Siftar, artist

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My good friend Ellyn Siftar is a senior at Moravian College, where she will graduate this spring with a major in Philosophy and minors in Art and Biology. It has been a joy to watch Ellyn grow and blossom as an artist over the past few years. I’m constantly inspired by her honesty, passion, and courage! Ellyn is a true artist.

Ellyn will have her first solo show at Moravian College this Friday night, March 22nd, 6-8 pm, in Studio 105, the Student Gallery, South Hall, First Floor, South Campus. “Folds” is third in a series of weekly exhibitions by students in the Senior Studio Thesis course. Exhibition will also be on dispaly for Art Club meeting on March 20th at lunch. I hope to see you there!

Here is Ellyn’s artist statement:

“Folds,” an artist statement by Ellyn Siftar

“Folds”, a solo exhibition in Space 105, includes a series of sculptural artifacts; the remains from the process of mining memories. The work is informed by personal experience, notions of the uncanny, as well as Robert Corrington’s concept of sacred folds which project the semiotic material valuable for the process of “selving”.  Further inspiration for my daily studio practice, choice of materials, and ideas for installation came from a query into the artworks and practices of Louise Bourgeois, Janine Antoni, Robert Gober, and David Ireland. By revisiting the past I was able to reimagine and recreate it in empowered and novel ways.  This process of recollection and manipulation provide a way forward that is life-giving and full of promise rather than static and anchored in a past time and space. 


“Submit”,  a small sculpture of sand, syrup, and soapstone, sits immediately upon entry, at the threshold of the gallery. A small pile of sand fanning out and into space, the soapstone carved into a diamond-shaped receptacle, collects syrup, impressions in the sand from a kneeling figure having hovered over the form. It is a work made for the grandmother I have never known. She gave birth to eleven children and was constantly on her knees:  cleaning floors, planting in the garden, tying and buttoning children’s clothing, and praying.   

“Alluvial Fan” utilizes my father’s military parachute.  It’s a relic of war games but has also functioned as a gauzy fort for children.  It’s both necessary for survival when serving in its military sense but the threads that once kept it airborne are now cut and braided by the hands of two generations of children.  It gathers up and accrues.

“A Song for Malcolm” excavates memories of loss and grief. An ovoid soapstone carving lies underwater at the bottom of a copper wash tub, submerged and burdensome.  After the death of twenty friends in eighteen months, I am in uncharted territory and I am drowning. There is promise in the sky.

“Stone Fruit”, a golden nest cradles a soapstone peach and rests on the chair’s cracking leather seat.  The chair was a gift from my mother before she moved to the west: a solid place to rest. The peach is a poem for her.

Other guest blog posts by Ellyn Siftar: Flirting with the Sky and Mary Magdalene as Melancholy

“Folds” will be at Space 105, at Moravian College in Bethlehem. Space 105: Space 105 is a gallery on campus at Moravian College dedicated solely to student exhibitions.

Moravian College

344 Main Street (near Foy Hall )
Bethlehem, PA 18018

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